Grim Fandango by LucasArts

Editor's Rating: 4.7/5
Grim Fandango cd cover
GD Star Rating
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Overview

Well, whaddya know. The Aztecs had it right all along. You die, take the money you’re buried with, and start out on your four-year trek through the land of the dead. Our hero, Manuel Calavera, is a travel agent for the dead, selling the best travel packages a dead soul qualifies for; after all, why spend four years on a dangerous journey when the Number 9 Express train can get you there in four minutes? Manny’s been in a bit of a slump lately, though, with all the good clients going to his competition. There’s trouble in paradise and Manny needs to untangle himself from a conspiracy that threatens his very salvation. That’s where you come in.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

I liked the game interface. LucasArts chose to keep player interaction with the world pretty simple. In a quick reward for reading the booklet, they even tell you outright that you will not be able to combine inventory items (making it much easier to brute-force a solution if you get desperate). As you approach something with which you can interact, Manny’s head moves to focus on the object. You can then examine it, use it (i.e. pick it up or talk with it) or use an inventory object with it. Pretty basic. There are one or two tight spots where the angle of approach can make it tricky to get from one area to another, and another area where you do have to combine two objects you can pick up (prop item one where you found it, use an inventory item with it, and then pick it up), but all in all, things went pretty smoothly. I particularly liked the option of choosing your frame of reference—either character-relative or camera-relative. I got to love controlling things relative to the character so that I didn’t have to change buttons when my camera angle changed.

Download Grim Fandango

You can download G.F. from mininova via BitTorrent. The game has two CD’s, each of them are included in the download as Nero CD imags (.nrg):

Contents of download:

  • Gfupd101.exe (2.17 megabyte)
  • Grim Fandango – Disc 1.nrg (630.13 megabyte)
  • Grim Fandango – Disc 2.nrg (632.31 megabyte)

Torrent Details:

  • Filename: [isoHunt] Grim Fandango.torrent
  • Share ratio: 62 seeds, 30 leechers
  • Last updated: 9 hours ago
  • Downloads: 32,513
  • Added: 404 days ago
  • Info hash: cc275f16ba90da5d9b3ffee49033395e3533f157
  • Added on: Tue, 07 Aug 2007 12:00:06 +0200
  • Last updated: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 10:01:19 +0200
  • Last downloaded: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 20:03:23 +0200
  • Total size: 1.23 gigabyte in 3 files

Puzzles

Nice puzzles. I found myself stumped about once a year (the game is broken up into four years), and that’s about right. Your mileage will likely vary, but not too much to the negative as I’m far from an expert in the genre.

In an interesting surprise in an adventure game, the sets for Grim Fandango are all 3D-rendered and things look much smoother and scroll better if you have a 3D accelerated system. Each set is beautifully rendered and as believable as the afterlife can be. It also means that usable objects don’t stand out quite as much as they can in other games of this type.

Grim Fandango Trailer

Audio

All the dialogue is full speech (with optional subtitles). Nothing stands out about the sounds of the game, which is actually a good thing. One of the companions you acquire can get a bit annoying if you’re stumped and have to listen to his fake car noises, but the annoyance is mostly at being stumped so long.

System Requirements

DirectX compatible Win95/Win98, Pentium 133, 32 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, Microsoft DirectX 6.0 (available on the CD). I highly recommend using the 3D acceleration option.

Documentation

The documentation is colorful, useful, and to the point. Once you find it, that is. I almost threw it away with the other in-box advertisements. It’s made to look like a travel catalog, which amazingly is very similar to a software catalog. Draw your own conclusions from that. I’m glad I gave it a read, as it’s entertaining and tells you outright that you won’t be able to combine inventory items. That’s an important bit of information to anyone who has done an adventure game or two.

Parental Warning

Film noir means lots of smoking and mildly naughty language. Since all the characters are already dead, there’s not a lot of blood and guts (just flowers, lots of flowers).

Bottom Line

Excellent game. I couldn’t leave it alone. It wasn’t as funny as the Monkey Island series (though it ends much better than The Curse of Monkey Island), but it gives you a story you can get into and generates enough interest in the characters to pull you through the occasional rough spot. I particularly liked the consistent film noir theme (especially a bit of homage paid to Casablanca in Year Two). It’s definitely a must-buy if you’re a fan of adventure games. If you’re not, well, this game may turn you around.

Grim Fandango Screenshots:

Grim Fandango 3D characters talking Office Mob in Grim Fandango The back cd cover of Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango by LucasArts, reviewed by Stilgar on 2008-09-13T22:42:45+00:00 rating 4.7 out of 5

This entry was posted in Adventure

11 Comments

  1. Posted September 14, 2008 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Oh man, too bad they don’t make adventure games like these anymore.
    My personal favorite was The Day of the Tentacle, but Grim Fandango is also one of the classics.
    I’m downloading it right now, will report if I encounter install problems.
    Thank you!

  2. James
    Posted September 19, 2008 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Hi, I found your blog on this new directory of WordPress Blogs at blackhatbootcamp.com/listofwordpressblogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, i duno. Anyways, I just clicked it and here I am. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day. James.

  3. monk
    Posted December 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    i just got finished downloading grim but the exe file asks for installation cds. whats that about. help, must play now

  4. Ring
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    simply, one of the best computer games ever

  5. andrew
    Posted October 16, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    how do you run the files?

  6. Ryan
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Hey!
    What you want to do bro, is download Power iso.
    This will let you access the files on the NRGs.
    From there you can download this updated Vista, and Xp setup executable.
    Its a replacement installer from quick and easy software.

    From there use Power ISO to mount the first disk.
    Then run the installer.
    When it asks for disk 2, simply mount it, and press okay.

    And TAH DAH!!
    You have Fandango friend!

    Hope this helps.

  7. B
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    I downloaded the torrent, but cannot open it. Can’t afford Power ISO, so I tried to open it up in WinRAR but it keeps asking me to put in the disk. Help????!

    • admin
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      You need to mount the ISO image with Nero, Daemon Tools, Power ISO, or whatever you have. NoCD patches also work.

  8. Jim
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if LucasArts realizes how much money they’re missing out on by not making Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and other early classics available for download.

  9. Nicko
    Posted December 6, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    where can i get this without torrent, sharewhere..etc?
    Please, I used to own it years ago but lost it :(.

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